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June 17, 2024
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FTSE 100 jumps as Yemen strikes send gold and oil higher

Thanks for joining me. Britain’s economy grew in November, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics show.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.3pc in a boost to Rishi Sunak’s pledge to grow Britain’s economy as he gears up for a general election later this year.

5 things to start your day 

1) Global trade in the cross hairs as Red Sea crisis rages | Houthi attacks on commercial shipping are already impacting supply chains

2) Dyson criticises ‘perverse’ ruling after losing £150m battle with Brussels | British company loses damages claim in decade-long dispute over energy labels

3) China built more solar panels in 2023 than entire world in 2022 | Beijing drives breakneck expansion in bid to hit peak CO2 emissions by 2030

4) Ambrose Evans Pritchard: China’s relentless quest for growth is a toxic feedback loop of its own making | Vast overinvestment is self-destructive – and intolerable for the global economy

5) Ben Marlow: Vanity projects risk tripping up Marks & Spencer after remarkable resurgence | Talk of empire building is enough to give investors sleepless nights
What happened overnight 

Oil prices surged after US and UK forces launched strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen following attacks on ships in the Red Sea, fuelling worries about a wider conflict in the crude-rich region.

Brent futures jumped 2pc to $79 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.1pc to $73.55.

Tokyo stocks ended higher, extending gains from the previous day’s session when the benchmark Nikkei index closed above 35,000 for the first time since 1990.

The Nikkei 225 closed up 1.5pc, or 527.25 points, at 35,577.11, while the broader Topix index added 0.5pc, or 11.36 points, to 2,494.23.

China’s blue chips and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index were mostly flat. 

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 top American companies finished up less than 0.1 percent at 37,711.02. The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.1px to 4,780.24, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index was unchanged at 14,970.19.

Steve Sosnick of Interactive Brokers noted the importance of new inflation figures for the US, which were higher than expected. “The CPI was not a good number,” he said. But it “wasn’t bad enough to give us a real reason for a sell-off either. And that’s why we were sort of muddling around at slightly lower levels.”

The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds declined yesterday by five basis points to 3.98pc.

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